The swans of Hamburg

Besides the seagulls, there is another kind of bird which is very common for the city of Hamburg: the swans. They populate the Lake Alster the whole year through, till it gets cold in november. Then the “Schwanenvater” (“Swans-daddy”… which is actually a person paid by the city of Hamburg to do the job!) collects and brings them to a safe place where they can stay over the cold and icy winter days. When spring-time arrives, they get back to the Alster. And this is done every year. It is documented that the care of the swans has at least been in the hands of the city since 1591. There was even a law enacted by the senate of Hamburg in 1264 which would punish if someone should eat, beat to death, shot or insult (!) a swan.

But besides these peculiar facts, that are very special to the city of Hamburg, swans are per se beautiful and elegant birds… and when you see them cruising through the lake they seem like majestic Kings & Queens visiting their county.

Majestic swan in the Lake Alster in Hamburg - Copyright by Kristian Peetz

Majestic swan in the Lake Alster in Hamburg – Copyright by Kristian Peetz

Majestic swan in the Lake Alster in Hamburg - Copyright by Kristian Peetz

Majestic swan in the Lake Alster in Hamburg – Copyright by Kristian Peetz

Majestic swan in the Lake Alster in Hamburg - Copyright by Kristian Peetz

Majestic swan in the Lake Alster in Hamburg – Copyright by Kristian Peetz

 

In this two short videos you can see the moment when the swans are beeing collected when the winter time arrives…

 

… and when they get back in the spring time: